Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook [Review/Recipe]

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to review the Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook written by Miranda Couse of the popular blog Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt. I love cookies but typically find myself fixing the same ones over and over. This cookbook is amazing though. It includes 150 recipes for all-time classics and modern twists on not only cookies, but brownies, bars, and no-bake treats. The recipes include easy-to-find ingredients, many of which are already in your pantry (if they are somehow magically in my pantry, then I know they will definitely be in yours).

I couldn’t wait to try her recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I LOVE anything with chocolate and even though I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake, I figured that I could allow myself to indulge in one or two.

The verdict?

Nom. Nom. Nom. I can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes.

It amazed me how quickly this recipe came together. It took no time for me to measure out all of my ingredients, mix them, and bake the cookies. The cookies all turned out perfect in my mind as well – deliciously fudgy without being overwhelmingly sweet. The cookies themselves looked lovely with the cracked topping and would be the perfect addition to your holiday table or potluck.

Instead of baking all of the cookies at once, I ended up splitting the dough into thirds, rolling them up, and freezing two batches (without rolling them in confectioner’s sugar). I figured that once our Lil Bean gets here, it’ll be nice to just pull out a few pieces of cookie dough when I need something to perk me up.

The Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook will be released on October 31st, but don’t wait – preorder yours now and get ready to do some baking!

Print Recipe
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Recipe posted with permission from the Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12-13 minutes
Servings
About 34 cookies
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12-13 minutes
Servings
About 34 cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, oil, and both sugars until light and creamy. This will take about 3 minutes if using an electric mixer or 5 to 6 minutes if creaming by hand. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together.
  4. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl for rolling.
  5. Using a medium (11⁄2-tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls, drop them into the confectioners’ sugar, and roll to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are cracked on top.
  7. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Tip: You can roll the cookie dough first in granulated sugar and then in the confectioners’ sugar. This will help dry out the dough, giving your cookies even more of a cracked effect.

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DIY Lavender Linen Spray

I’ve mentioned in a few of my recent pregnancy updates that I’ve been having trouble sleeping. While I have been sleeping better lately, I still haven’t been sleeping like I’m used to. Some nights I just can’t get to sleep (either sleep has escaped me or I start thinking about all the baby-related things I need to accomplish), other nights I wake up sweating or I’ll wake up and have to pee and simply can’t get back to sleep.

I need my sleep. When I don’t get enough sleep, the next day drags by and I find it tough to focus or get anything completed. It feels as if I’m having to mentally, and psychically, trudge through quicksand.

So I ended up throwing together a quick spray with lavender essential oil to use on my bed linens. I sprayed it on my mattress/mattress pad, sheets, and comforter but avoided spraying it on my pillows just because I didn’t want to overwhelm my sensitive pregnancy nose.

Lavender is a great essential oil to use to help you sleep and its calming scent also helps to relieve stress and reduce anxious feelings. It’s one of the oils that I keep on hand almost all of the time, not only for personal use, but for use in the products that I create for The Southern Belle’s Garden.

– For example, my Lavender and Calendula Hand Salve –

It’s commonly believed that some essential oils are safe to use (in moderation) during the second and third trimester but make sure to ask your doctor before using. Lavender is considered to be one of the more acceptable essential oils because of its gentle nature, but many avoid it during the first trimester. Also, avoid using essential oils in areas where pets are – cats especially can have adverse effects to some oils. Do your research!

Ready to give it a shot?

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DIY Lavender Linen Spray

makes about 4 ounces

  • 1 ounce witch hazel
  • 10-15 drops lavender essential oil (I tend to lean a little more to the 15 drops but for a lighter scent, use closer to 10 drops.)
  • 3 ounces distilled water

Combine all of the ingredients into a small spray bottle and shake well before using.

Spray on your pillows, sheets, towels – I’ve even sprayed this on our couch cushions when I thought that they needed a pick me up. This spray will keep indefinitely and I store mine in a small glass spray bottle either in the medicine cabinet or on my headboard for quick access.
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Cowboy Candy – Sweet Pickled Jalapenos [Recipe]

Even though I can, I’m not quite at the production level of a lot of homesteaders. Our garden is on the smaller side because of our location so what we don’t eat fresh typically only equates to a couple of quart jars or freezer bags. One vegetable that I always seem to wind up with an excess of is jalapenos. We’ll use the peppers in salsa (canned and fresh), pico de gallo, and just mixed in with dinner but somehow we always end up with way too many peppers.

I hate seeing them wasted so enter “Cowboy Candy”. Basically Cowboy Candy is sweet pickled jalapenos sliced into rings. They are delicious and addictive with a nice sweet heat that stays with you but doesn’t overwhelm you.

The recipe is super easy. First you start off with chopping your jalapenos peppers. Honestly, this is the hardest part of this whole recipe. I have to make my sweet pickled jalapenos in small batches as slicing the jalapenos is tedious and tends to take my breath away from the fumes. I usually wear a pair of gloves when I chop any sort of hot peppers for my safety. I learned the hard way that taking out your contacts at night after chopping peppers is not fun.

Once your jalapenos are all chopped and you take a little break for some fresh air, you’ll get your pickling liquid together. My pickling liquid is pretty basic – apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and garlic cloves. You bring it all to a boil on the stove, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar and salt. Again – key word is to stir gently. The liquid is hot and it will not pleasant if you get it on yourself.

Once everything is nice and dissolved, you’ll add your sliced jalapenos. Make sure that they are submerged under the liquid. They won’t cook long so I usually stand at the stove, stirring them until they darken in color.

After cooking in the pickling liquid, you’ll add the jalapeno rings (AND the garlic) into your sterilized jars. I had a couple of red jalapenos that I tossed in as well which ended up looking really pretty mixed in among the green.

Your pickling liquid will cook a few more minutes and then you’ll add it to your jars. I ended up with almost a perfect amount of everything. The jar on the right is a little low but I think that if I hadn’t been lazy and had chopped just one or two more jalapenos, it would have been perfect.

These two quart jars will last us until about December as we love to eat them with pretty much everything. I ‘m planning to do another few jars once I get out to the garden to pick some peppers.

My method for canning is a little more old school (think a la your grandmother’s era) which is why I didn’t include canning instructions below. If you are wanting to store these for long term, I suggest searching for water bath canning so that you have the most accurate safety information.

Print Recipe
Cowboy Candy - Sweet Pickled Jalapenos
Course Canning
Servings
2 Quart Jars
Ingredients
  • 30 medium to large jalapenos sliced into rings
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed & peeled
  • 2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c. water
  • 16 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
Course Canning
Servings
2 Quart Jars
Ingredients
  • 30 medium to large jalapenos sliced into rings
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed & peeled
  • 2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c. water
  • 16 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring carefully to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  2. Add the sliced jalapenos, making sure that they are submerged. Let the jalapenos cook for 4 minutes and then use tongs to transfer the jalapeno rings to a clean - sterilized - jar.
  3. Reduce heat and let your liquid simmer for an additional 10 minutes before ladling the liquid over the top of the jar, leaving about 1/2" head space or so (you'll probably end up with just enough liquid to cover your jalapenos).
  4. Pop on your sealing lid/band and let the jars cool before sticking them into your refrigerator. Be patient and let them sit for a few weeks before digging in to them.
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Northeastern NC Craft Workshop 2017

Another Northeastern NC Craft Workshop has come and gone! I love attending this yearly workshop. Since this is my 4th year attending, I’ve come to expect certain individuals to appear there each year. One of those individuals did not attend yesterday but I’m hoping that everything is alright with her and she just decided to attend today.

My chosen course this year was Embroidery taught by a lovely woman by the name of Glenda (her husband teaches the decoy carving class) from Virginia Beach. She was full of knowledge and was a great instructor.

She had already traced our patterns and chosen the colors for our “masterpieces” which left us with the hard job of piecing it all together. We learned several stitches – Lazy Daisy (my least favorite), the French Knot (which I didn’t like at first but came to love), the Back Stitch, the Satin Stitch, and there may have been another one.

Our prepaid lunch was provided by the delicious Golden Skillet over in Plymouth, with choices of salad, chicken and pastry, and fried chicken. We were also able to purchase cookies – which I definitely took advantage of.

So this is the outcome of my 6 or so hours of work. Upon wetting it, the blue pattern should fade. You can certainly see where I struggled (the flowers) and how I improved on the french knot as I went. It’s funny – my shoulder was getting sore by the end of the day!

I’m undecided what I will do with this – I’m thinking of bringing out my granny’s vintage sewing machine and maybe filling it with lavender and turning it into a sachet of sorts. I discovered that I enjoy embroidery and am already daydreaming of my next project.

It’s great getting to try out skills that I might not normally get to try. I’m crossing my fingers that maybe next year I will be able to take two days off from work to try out one of the two day courses!

Northeastern NC Craft Workshop

Back in 2013, I was looking for something to do during two days off from work. House-sitting while my mom was out of town, I had taken the time off to enjoy a hot summer day and planned to relax and grill out. I ended up stumbling across the Northeastern NC Craft Workshop.

The NENC Craft Workshop is a two-day event that offers a variety of classes such as stained glass, decoy carving, embroidery and more. Registration is first come, first served meaning some classes tend to fill out rather quickly.

After my first year of attending, I fell in love with the event and have always been eagerly anticipating the next one. Though my schedule doesn’t always allow me the time off to attend (such as when I started a new job or when someone else was already scheduled to be off of work), I have tried my best to attend.

Here are some of my creations!

2013 – This was my first year attending and I decided to sign up for the bonsai class.

Unfortunately I forgot to take an after picture. My green thumb was still in the works during this time and my bonsai died not too long after. :-/

2014Garlic Basket! I enjoy basket weaving even if my patterns didn’t always come out right.

Garlic basket all done!

A post shared by Emily Rena Elliott (@emielli5) on

2016 – My sea grass stool. This was a class I had been trying to get in for a couple of years so I was pretty excited to be able to attend.

@ NENC Craft Workshop. Seagrass stool before picture. 🙂

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What is really neat about my sea grass stool is that we have a nearly identical one my grandmother made during a different event years ago.

Though it’s easier for me to take the one-day events, I do want to eventually try Decoy Carving/Painting and Fishing Fly Tying! I love that these classes introduces me to skills that I may not normally have been able to try out. What’s also pretty neat is seeing some of the same people return year after year.

Registration is open now, by the way. There is a little fee attached to each class, but if you click the link below, it’ll clue you in as to how much.

For more information, please visit https://currituck.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/02/northeast-north-carolina-craft-workshop/.